Ugu fixes billing error

2011-11-23 00:00

UGU District Municipality says that over 1 000 clients who had experienced problems with their billing, can now breathe a sigh of relief as the billing errors have been corrected.

The media has been abuzz with complaints from locals who say they were overcharged on their water bills. Since then, ward councillors have been working around the clock to assist in sorting out the matter.

When The Witness first probed the complaints ratepayers had with their inflated bills last week, council spokesperson, Lindani Mzotho, confirmed that some consumers — from the 40 000 bills sent out every month — were complaining about inflated bills.

Mztoho yesterday said the municipality had recently transferred all water consumers from its legacy system to its Revenue Management System. This billing system records water usage which is then uploaded into the municipality’s system.

A calculation on the amount of water used and the tariff charge is then processed and the customer is charged accordingly.

“These water rates are levied annually on vacant stands, hence bills are sent out annually. In the transfer process, some incorrect opening balances were extracted thus affecting 1 047 consumers. The opening balances on such water rates accounts have since been corrected and revised bills are in the process of being posted,” said Mzotho.

He said a message will appear on the statement confirming the error.

The Customer Care Centre has been fully briefed on this error and is available to assist consumers. The call centre number is 080 009 2837.

“The municipality regrets any inconvenience caused to affected consumers,” he added.

• In another rates related issue, bed-and-breakfast owners across the province are meanwhile up in arms, following exorbitant rates increases levied on their water and electricity accounts.

B&B owners from Pietermaritzburg to Doonside say they have no choice but to close their already marginal businesses after up to 75 percent increases in their water and electricity tariffs.

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